Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SAN DIEGO — BYU finished out the 2012 season in impressive fashion, dismantling San Diego State 23-6 in the Poinsettia Bowl. The offense struggled mightily, but the defense completely dominated and overwhelmed the Aztec offense in the second half.
OFFENSE: The offense didn't do much, but it didn't have to considering the clinic put on by the defense. James Lark finished with 23-42 passing for 244 yards and two interceptions, but did convert some key third-and-longs to keep the offense going early.
The rushing attack struggled mightily to get anything going, but Jamaal Williams did manage a 14-yard touchdown in the second half to give BYU a 16-6 lead. Overall the team rushed for just 52 yards on 30 carries.
Cody Hoffman caught 10 passes for 114 yards, but dropped two passes in the red zone that would have gone for scores. GRADE: C-.
DEFENSE: BYU's best defense in history finished out the 2012 season with arguably its best performance. After yielding 85 yards rushing and six points in the first half, the defense completely overwhelmed the Aztec offense after halftime. The Cougars forced five turnovers and held San Diego State to just 35 total yards in the second half.
Kyle Van Noy has played many great games throughout his BYU career, but Thursday night's performance may have been his best. He provided two touchdowns on an interception and fumble recovery and wrecked havoc throughout the game.
Every defensive position played well and picked up the slack for an anemic offense — just like it did all season. GRADE: A.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Riley Stephenson was great once again and three times pinned San Diego State inside the 10-yard line with well-placed punts. Justin Sorensen whiffed on an extra-point attempt and had his ensuing kickoff go out of bounds.
The kick and punt coverage was good throughout, as was the punt and kick returns. Kyle Van Noy also provided a blocked punt. GRADE: B-.
OVERALL: The team came out lethargic and seemingly uninspired until the second half of play where it completely dominated. The defense went out playing its best game of the year while the offense showed it has an enormous amount of work to do this coming offseason. GRADE: B+.
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